Formula 1

British Grand Prix: Leclerc leads Ferrari one-two in final practice

Charles Leclerc narrowly topped third practice for the British Grand Prix from Ferrari Formula 1 team-mate Sebastian Vettel, with Lewis Hamilton completing a top three split by just 0.049 seconds.

Leclerc left it late to post his fastest time of 1m25.905s on soft tyres on a cool, drizzly Saturday morning at Silverstone, putting him 0.026s ahead of Vettel.

Mercedes driver Hamilton headed up Red Bull pair Pierre Gasly and Max Verstappen, while Valtteri Bottas ended up sixth-fastest in the second Mercedes.

The arrival of light rain a little more than 10 minutes into the session meant George Russell’s early benchmark of 1m31.810s stood for more than half an hour.

Several cars ventured out on intermediates after the shower, including Hamilton, who told his Mercedes team via radio he felt the conditions were good enough to go out on slicks.

The reigning champion soon came in for a set of soft-compound Pirellis, but didn’t venture out of the pits at first, waiting until just after the half-hour mark to head out on the red-marked tyres.

Russell’s time finally was beaten by Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg with 26 minutes left on the clock, the opening salvo in a series of improvements that lasted practically for the remainder of the session.

Both Hamilton and Bottas enjoyed spells leading the way before Leclerc finally set his session-topping time on soft tyres with a little more than nine minutes left in the session.

Vettel made a late improvement to second shortly afterwards, also on softs, to move ahead of Hamilton, while both Gasly and Verstappen set their best times in the closing minutes to jump Bottas.

McLaren driver Lando Norris made a last-ditch improvement to move up to seventh ahead of the two Renaults of Daniel Ricciardo, running a new chassis on Saturday after his engine failure on Friday, and Hulkenberg.

The top 10 was rounded out by Toro Rosso’s Alex Albon.

Carlos Sainz Jr was 12th-fastest in the second McLaren behind the Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi.

Daniil Kvyat almost squeezed Bottas into the barriers at Woodcote in the latter stages on his way to the 13th-best time in the second Toro Rosso.

The two Haas cars of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen were next up, followed by Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa and the Racing Point machines of Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez.

Russell was predictably shuffled back to 19th after his long early spell out front, ahead of only Williams team-mate Robert Kubica.

FP3 times

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m25.905s 17
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m25.931s 0.026s 16
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m25.954s 0.049s 21
4 Pierre Gasly Red Bull/Honda 1m26.118s 0.213s 15
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1m26.440s 0.535s 14
6 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m26.456s 0.551s 20
7 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 1m26.689s 0.784s 15
8 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m26.945s 1.040s 16
9 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m26.965s 1.060s 15
10 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso/Honda 1m26.976s 1.071s 17
11 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1m27.036s 1.131s 16
12 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren/Renault 1m27.106s 1.201s 15
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Honda 1m27.108s 1.203s 18
14 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m27.110s 1.205s 16
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m27.275s 1.370s 16
16 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1m27.424s 1.519s 15
17 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 1m27.544s 1.639s 14
18 Sergio Perez Racing Point/Mercedes 1m27.598s 1.693s 12
19 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 1m29.065s 3.160s 22
20 Robert Kubica Williams/Mercedes 1m29.450s 3.545s 19

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